How Europe plans to cut gas use

From cutting shower times, driving slower and penalizing shop owners for not closing, Europeans are embarking on a goal of reducing energy use in the winter, and some residents have taken to social media. associations to share their experiences.

For example, German Christopher Hipp offered tips on Twitter on how to defrost a freezer, saying that the more energy you save, the less likely your kitchen appliances will freeze.

Cindy, who lives in the Netherlands, shares her attempt at trying to shower in 5 minutes target time – failing with 6 minutes 21 seconds. “It took 48 seconds for the shower to heat up,” she tweeted.

Ruud Vuik and his daughter, also living in the Netherlands, tried the same thing by using a blue teardrop shower timer for a week, starting 5 minutes before she went to an alarm bell.

A customer browses alcoholic beverages inside a refrigerator at the Exale Brewing and Taproom in East London on August 19, 2022. The European Commission in July agreed on a voluntary target of a 15% reduction in usage. gas by 2023, compared to average consumption. from 2016 to 2021.

Hollie Adams | Afp | beautiful pictures

These goals are part of EU’s broader effort to cut natural gas request this winter, with an inventory of methods of their choice.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, in July agreed with a voluntary target to cut gas use by 15% by March 2023compared to the average consumption from 2016 to 2021.

Here’s what some EU governments have recommended:


President Emmanuel Macron has called for a 10% reduction in gas use, warning that mandatory energy savings will be introduced if voluntary efforts are not enough. Russian gas imports accounts for 15% of French gas consumptionmaking it less dependent on Russia than most of its EU peers.

  • The lights from the iconic Eiffel Tower will go out about an hour earlier at 11:45 p.m., the mayor of Paris announced on September 13.
  • Shop owners who leave the air conditioning shop open will be fined 750 euros ($751).
  • Illuminated ads will be banned from 1am to 6am


Germany is the country most affected by Russia’s gas supply cuts. German Economy Minister Robert Habeck released a statement introduced a a variety of measures effective September 2 with the hope of reducing gas use by about 2%.

  • Public buildings are heated to a maximum of 19 degrees Celsius.
  • The storefront is not illuminated at night.
  • Prohibition on heating private swimming pools.


Austria is also heavily dependent on Russian gas, getting more than 80 percent from Moscow in previous years. Last week, Austria’s climate agency released a energy saving campaign called “Mission 11” with the following recommendations:

  • Drive slower to save energy – at the recommended speed limit of 100km/h
  • Regularly defrost the freezer.
  • Reduce bathing time.


While Spain is not as dependent as other EU members on Russian gas, which accounts for 14.5% of its imports, the Spanish Parliament has agreed to cut gas use by 8%. .

  • The air conditioning temperature in most public buildings and businesses should not be set below 27 degrees Celsius in the summer. And should not be heated more than 19 degrees Celsius in winter.
  • The store is closed.
  • There are no night lights of outside shops or public monuments.


While 75% of Finland’s gas supply is generated from Russian imports, the country is not susceptible to Moscow’s ambiguity. Nature Air less than 6% of total energy consumption In Finland. In the last week of August, the Ministry of Economy and Employment announced a campaign titled “Down One Degree”, which aims to get 75% of Finns to reduce their energy consumption by:

  • Lower the home temperature on the thermostat.
  • Use less electronics, less light sources.
  • Limit bathing to 5 minutes.


Italy imports nearly 40% of its gas came from Russia last year. According to an initiative of the Italian Ministry of Ecological Transition, the country is targeting reduce gas consumption by 7% (5.3 billion cubic meters) in March:

  • Thermostats in industrial buildings are lowered from one degree to 17 degrees Celsius.
  • Residential thermostat temperature is set at 19 degrees Celsius.
  • The radiator is turned off for at least an hour a day.


The Dutch government launched a campaign in April in an effort to reduce dependence on Russian gas, covers about 12.5% ​​of the Dutch gas.

  • Shower for 5 minutes.
  • Turn off central heating.

Enough for the winter?

Some report estimates that if Europe can cut its gas use by 15% by March 2023, the region will be able to cope with the winter despite limited supplies and soaring energy prices.

“We were there… savings this month have surpassed the 15% target,” said senior energy strategist at Goldman Sachs, Samantha Dart.

The facilities of the Fluxys gas station in Loenhout, Belgium. In July, the European Commission agreed on a voluntary target to cut gas use by 15% by 2023, compared with average consumption from 2016 to 2021.

Kenzo Tribouillard | Afp | beautiful pictures

She added that North West Europe’s estimated August gas consumption was 13% below average.

“We believe this is more than enough savings to get through the winter without power outages or heating crises,” Dart said, assuming that the average winter weather scenario holds true.

Difficult but not impossible

However, that goal seems ambitious, especially as winter sets in, according to another analyst.

According to Henning Gloystein, director of the Eurasia Group, Henning Gloystein said that period is a period when household consumption demand for heating “outstrips industrial demand”.

“Achieving a 15% reduction in business as usual will be difficult, but not impossible,” Gloystein told CNBC.

If Europe can manage sustained demand destruction and access to alternative gas supplies, Gloystein added, “severe rationing can be avoided.”

A group of houses in Cercedilla, on April 20, 2022 in Madrid, Spain as Madrid activates its Winter Harsh Plan because of snow, rain and wind. A cold winter could make it difficult to reduce demand in Europe.

Rafael Bastante | Europa Press | beautiful pictures

He said an “immediate drop” in household consumption could coincide with most EU gas tariffs on October 1, following aggressive media campaigns by governments.

Winter recession is possible

However, Henning cautions that this will come at a cost.

“This will almost certainly come at the cost that the EU recession over the winter will hit low-income households and small industries the hardest,” he said.

A cold winter could also make it difficult to reduce demand but also increase the possibility of supply disruptions from Norway, where offshore rigs in the North Sea have to be evacuated during storms, Henning said. Henning said.

“If just one or two of the necessary measures don’t work, the situation can get pretty serious, pretty quickly.”

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